Is this the correct solution?


Many moons ago I put out this little illusion video…..

The other day I was delighted to see that this group had made a lovely video containing a possible solution…..

Do you think they have nailed it?


40 comments on “Is this the correct solution?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I noticed subtle flaws in the timing of your right and left hand, especially when you put the banana back down on the book.

  2. Roland says:

    It sure is a way to do the trick. Other methods may be possible as well 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nope when he put the cup down I heard two “clap”s, so it was obvious..

    But overwise well done!!

  4. Although in the first section you can see prof’s face in the mirror, and it’s unlikely he has a left and right head. I imagine there would have to be two different set-ups to do the trick if he were to do the lower video’s method.

    • Anon says:

      The bit with the prof’s head is before the disclaimer… It’s a conjurours trick to subtly tell you that that’s not the solution…

      Of course, it may not be, but the head doesn’t disqualify it.

  5. Martin Orman says:

    The “relection” of EAT on the cup isn’t right, so I agree with the groups solution.

    • safc4ever says:

      Maybe it doesn’t reflect as EAT in the mirror because it is TEA?

      Anyway, in the original video, the parts before and after the title are different set-ups. If you click on the time bar at, for example, 5 and 15 seconds, you will see differences in the lighting, the positions of the book and the angle of the whole set relative to the camera!

      The technique is as per the second video, but with the added magic trick of hiding the banana as taking it off to the left like with the pens would be too risky due to its size. It would probably be seen under the magician’s arm if being dragged off. My guess is that it is pushed off the book and falls on the tablecloth between the book and the frame.

    • safc4ever, whatever the mug has written on it, the reflection in the Prof’s video is incorrect. The E visible on the non-mirrored cup doesn’t match up with anything on the mirror version. The fake mirror part of the solution seems pretty obviously correct to me, as someone else has said, there are some slightly un-synchronised movements in the original vid that reinforce the suspicion once you know the trick. As to how the banana is hidden/disappeared, being pulled off the table behind the arm seems more likely than being hidden behind the book but either are feasible. All in all, I think the solution vid has it right.

  6. Jenny says:

    Laurence, we see his face in the mirror (from a different angle) *before* it says that what *follows* is one continuous shot. This was filmed separately with a real mirror. The first shot is to give false context to the second.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, I agree. That’s why I assumed he’d need to have two different set-ups, firstly with real mirror, and then with only frame. You should also be able to tell using the watch if the resolution was a little better. Also the angle on the mug and glass are a little bit off. They’re mirror imaged as if you were looking perpendicular to the “mirror” but the camera is off a bit.

    • Gus says:

      Classic illusionist’s trick.

  7. This is how I thought it would be done, with the added finesse of flipping the final video to make the writing in the “mirror” backwards.

  8. D says:

    This should be the correct solution to The Mirror (good job!), although, in the solution video, the stage should ideally be symmetrically lit.

  9. Tomble says:

    In the original the ‘reflection’ has fewer shadows and is brighter than what it is reflecting. Never heard of a mirror that makes things brighter. Plus, if you pause it at 56-57 seconds you can see that the hands are in slightly different orientations and the reflected hand is not quite in the right position considering the viewpoint.

    So…. Yup I agree with the group’s suggested answer.

  10. kaggyx says:

    In the actual video pouring water seems to have an odd angled reflection.

  11. Stan says:

    In your clip you can see your face reflected in the beginning. For that reason I am going to say there attempt is good, but not the same.

    • Berber Anna says:

      That’s before the ‘continuous shot’ text, so it doesn’t count. That’s a shot of an actual mirror, not of the set of the actual trick.

    • One Eyed Jack says:

      Standard magician’s trick of framing your mind to think in one manner and missing the transition.. Like Berber Anna says, the two take place in separate shots, but in retrospect, our mind will often ignore that fact.

      Whether Richard performed this illusion exactly as the second video shows can’t be said for certain,He may have an even more clever method, but the one shown was my first thought.

  12. Julia says:

    That is how I thought it had been done, but you posting it on your blog makes me think that maybe it isn’t after all.

    • One Eyed Jack says:

      That’s what I was thinking as well.

      I’d never play poker with Richard. He always seems to have an ace hidden up his sleeve.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I think I saw the winder on the watch in the foreground pointing up the arm, ie it’s a right arm. As I recall that prof W is right handed I think the method is sussed

  14. The question, Richard, is do YOU think they nailed it. After all you know the real solution.

    I always thought that there was a mirror there until the first cut at which point the mirror was removed and it was accomplished the way the students showed with the addition of some audio sweetening.

  15. Gus says:

    I watched your video first and immediately came to the same solution as in the video below. So yeah, I think they nailed it. There may be some other way to do it and you could surprise us all, but this certainly seems like the most obvious solution. I would be very surprised if you had done it any differently. Also, in both videos the arm movement is very careful and deliberate and unnatural, a hint that it is two different arms and not a real reflection.

  16. Mervulon says:

    Yes. I believe that is exactly how it was done.

  17. Brian Engler says:

    It’s the solution I thought of when I saw your video and noticed that at one point the thumb position on the two hands (or the hand and its supposed reflection) were not exactly at the same angle. I think it’s correct.

  18. G-Man says:

    Nice mirror trick from Terminator 2 – all done practically with no special effects

  19. Neily says:

    That’s how I saw it. You can see slight timing lag in the mirror.

  20. Wolfdude says:

    The table has to go outwards from the mirror. … first i wrote window instead of mirror O_o

  21. Dan Brown says:

    There is another clue in the original video that these kids got the right solution.

    If you filmed the same setup with the mirror against a wall you would use your left hand to manipulate the objects in order to keep them near the mirror. If you used your right hand it would have to involve either some very awkward elbow-bending, especially during the glass-tilting bit, or actually be facing the wall.

  22. mov to avi says:

    Thanks for talking about this. The post is fantastic. Today, I have downloaded the soft for video conversion. So I am able to watch my videos anywhere now.

  23. Vaahto says:

    I could swear I’ve seen a video before where you revealed how you did this particular trick.

  24. dgilad says:

    I’m running a Blog in Hebrew, which is called “Sharp Thinking”.
    I’m posting there some short-fun posts, as well as quite thorough investigations into areas such as Astrology, Numerology, Crystals, “The secret” etc.

    Just a few days ago I posted this one:
    There are 3 items there – Richard’s Mirror trick, The solution for another nicely done mirror trick (click the first link to see the unsolved clip first, and also a nice prank, dealing with mirrors…


    Gilad Diamant.

  25. Roland says:

    Is this the Friday puzzle? 😉

  26. peer says:

    Reminds me of this trick from the German “Candid Camera” (its in German, but you figure it out just by looking:

    (Hint: “Spiegel” = Mirror”)

  27. DethEngine says:

    If you look closely, the banana in the mirror of the second part of this video is different than the banana in the mirror of the opening scene of this video. I believe the opening scene uses a real mirror while the second part is only a window.

  28. Sylvester says:

    I’d like to retire in the English countryside

  29. Ayan Mena says:

    This cant be the solution since the mirror show part of his face in the beginning

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